Richard St John Harris was an Irish actor, singer-songwriter, theatrical producer, film director and writer.
Harris, the fifth of nine children, was born in Limerick City, County Limerick, Munster, Irish Free State into a middle-class, staunchly Roman Catholic family.
His parents were Ivan John Harris and Mildred Josephine Harty Harris.
He was schooled by the Jesuits at Crescent College. A talented rugby player, he was on several Munster Junior and Senior Cup teams for Crescent, and played for Garryowen
He appeared on stage and in many films, and is perhaps best known for his roles as King Arthur in Camelot (1967), as Oliver Cromwell in Cromwell (1970) and as Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), his final film.
He also played a British aristocrat and prisoner in A Man Called Horse (1970), Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator (2000), St. John The Apostle in Apocalypse Revelation (2002), and the gunfighter English Bob in Clint Eastwood's Western film Unforgiven (1992).
Harris had a top ten hit in Britain and the US with his 1968 recording of Jimmy Webb's song "MacArthur Park".
In 1957, he married Elizabeth Rees-Williams, the daughter of David Rees-Williams, 1st Baron Ogmore.
Harris and Rees-Williams divorced in 1969, after which Elizabeth married Sir Rex Harrison. His maternal niece is actress Annabelle Wallis.
Harris's second marriage was to the American actress Ann Turkel, who was 16 years younger than he. This marriage also ended in a divorce.
Harris died of Hodgkin's Lymphoma on 25 October 2002, aged 72 in Bloomsbury, London, England, UK two and a half weeks before the American premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.